Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Mickey Mouse Birthday

2 years old
Nathan turned 2 this past week and I debated about what to do for his birthday. He is too young to appreciate a birthday at any kind of venue, I didn't want to spend the money to rent a bounce house and he doesn't really have many "friends" at this age.
 We had been discussing purchasing a big fort swing set for the backyard and decided this would be a good time to get it. Dan found a great deal on craigslist. My plan was to have a Mickey Mouse (his favorite thing right now) themed birthday party and unveil the new swing set. I was going to invite family and a few of his "friends" (really mommy and daddy's friends who happen to have kids close to Nathan's age!)
The whole party revolved around it being a day with good weather and having the swingset complete.
I planned the party for a Sunday evening (4-6pm), the day before his birthday.
First, let me start with the swing set.
IT came in these 4 boxes and they each weighed a ton. (it took all my strength to help Dan carry them into the backyard)
Dan is quite the handyman, he has every tool known to man and enjoys building things. However,I got a little nervous when he unpacked all the wood from the boxes: it looked like we were adding an addition on to the house!! I knew he could do it but I had only given him a week to complete it before the party.
This next box made me even more nervous as it contained 800 bolts!
The instructions said it should take 2 moderately skilled people 20 hours to complete the swing set. Thank good ness Dan is expertly skilled ot make up for my novice skills!
Dan did an amazing job and had the whole thing ready by Friday. I did not want Nathan to play on it before his party so we left the swings and slide off until the day of his party.
Here is Dan on day 1

And here is the finished product! HE even added a sandbox under the fort!

ON to his party.
 The weather was a beautiful, sunny 76 degrees.
Since  the party was close to dinner I time I decided to serve moderate snacks along with cupcakes and cookies. I made some sausage rolls, chips/salsa, veggie platter, goldfish, cheese/cracker tray, and my mom made a fruit salad. I made cupcakes and mickey mouse shaped cookies which I attempted to frost. (I am not someone who's finished products would EVER be on Pintrest!)
My mom came over early to help me decorate the cookies.
I woke Nathan up from his nap at 3:30 and let him wear a new mickey shirt! HE was very excited about that. We then went in the front yard and waited for everyone to arrive. I didn't want him to see the kitchen or backyard yet.
After our guest's (about 17 people) arrived we let Nathan inside. He saw all the mickey mouse decoration and balloons and was so happy and excited! His little face was adorable!

We then let him go in the backyard to see his new swing set. My expectations where not too high on his reaction. He ran over to it when he saw his swing. IT took him a little while to figure out that he could climb up the fort and go down the slide.
We spent the majority of the time outside playing with him and his 2 friends.

I did not have any games or activities since his 2 friends were 18months and 13 months old, plus I don't think Nathan would have cooperated or had the attention span to focus on a game or activity!


Around 5pm we came inside for Nathan to eat his cupcake. HE was very thrilled that he had fire on his high chair! He did not eat any of the cupcake, he just poked the candle in an out of it until the cupcake was destroyed!

Here is the attempt at my Mickey Mouse cookies. They turned out OK, but they could have been much better. IT was alot harder to frost them than I anticipated. 

The only picture I got with the 2 of us.

He still does his goofy "cheese" face for the camera.

After the cupcake we went back outside to play until people started going home. We did not have any present opening, which I liked. I can probably only get away with not having present opening on his birthday for 1 more year! The swing set was enough of a present.

Amber with her Mimi.
Overall, his party was a success!
His "real" birthday was the next day. We sent the day as a family playing on his new swing set, went to the park and then out to eat (Jason's Deli) for dinner.
Of course he preferred the black and  red icing cookie over the cupcake!
Nathan: At 2 years old you are in the 91st% for height and 70th% for weight. You have 4 words (sort of ) Hot ("Ha" with your hand out toward whatever is hot) Hat ("Ha" with your hand tapping your head) Down ("don") and Flag ("fla")
You understand most everything we say and have multiple signs to communicate. The Dr. did recommend we have you see a speech therapist. I am not too worried because you understand and follow instructions well. However, we kn ow you are starting to get frustrated because it is more difficult for you to communicate. You try and tell us important things all the time and get upset when we don't understand you. You do lots of pointing and will come pull my leg if you want we to see something in another room.
You love airplanes so much right now. You know the sign for airplane and pretend your food is airplanes alot! We take you to DFW airport and let you watch the planes land from the observation deck. IT is such a joy to watch your little face as the planes go over head!
We let you watch 2 shows, Mickey Mouse clubhouse and Veggie tales. You love Mickey Mouse and carry him (you have a stuffed animal mickey) with you everywhere. You squeal in delight everytime you see a Mickey Mouse!
You still enjoy books and are content ot sit by yourself and look through books.
We go to story time at the library and you are doing better about sitting still and listening to the stories, but you are still  a little young for it.
You have 1 friend who you see on a regular basis. His name is Davin and you do pretty good playing with him. Some times you both will just laugh and run at each other, which is funny. Sometimes you ignore him.I look forward to seeing how you 2 become more of friends as you get older!
You are a good eater, however a moody eater. Some days you will eat 25 green beans and then act like they are poison the next day!
 Oh the life of being a 2 year old!
I love being your mom and watching you learn and grow everyday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

5 Months old

What a much happier baby!!!
Amber is now 5 months old! She is a delight to interact with, as she smiles all the time!
She also coos and bables non stop and I just love it. WIth Nathan, it took a dog and pony show to make him smile so I am really enjoying her smiling ease!
She has a favorite toy, it is a little doll with a rattle on it, and she just lights up and smiles/coos every time she sees the doll!
SHe has started to roll over from stomach to back (ok, she has only done it once but it counts!)

She is still on a special formula for her colic and lactose intolerance. It is so expensive but she has not been colicky since we started it. She has been on it for over a month and we are going to try a soy formula soon. I sure hope she grows out of her lactose intolerance because 80% of my diet and the way we cook is dairy! (Ok, 80% is an exaggeration!)
The Nutramigin formula is causing her bad diarrhea and her poor bottom has been red for over a month.
We started her on rice a few weeks ago and she is not a huge fan. She will eat it sometimes and make a huge mess as she tries to jam her fist into her mouth after everybite. Other times she will just cry when I attempt to feed it to her. I am sure she will get the hang of it soon.


I have mentioned she is happy during the day, but nights are still rough.
Every night is different. Some nights she will go 3-4 hours without waking up and other nights it is every 1-2 hours. I have made some progress because she is not having to be put in the swing any more and some nights she will go back to sleep with just a few minutes of patting.
Every night is different but I try to put her to bed between 8-8:30 after giving her a bottle. She then will sometimes wake up around 11 or 12. I do not feed her until 1am so I just pat her until she falls back asleep. The last few nights patting has not cut it so I have ended up rocking her and falling asleep in the chair until 1am. She goes back to sleep after her bottle at 1am and then is up at 4am but we are not feeding her until 5am so it is more patting or rocking until 5. Then she will go back to sleep until 7 or so.
Some nights she is up every 1 hour or so just crying and other nights she will sleep from 1am to 5am without waking up.
We tried the cry it out method and it did not work for our family. I think it is a good method but I also think you have to find a method that you are comfortable with in order to stick with it.
I was surprised I did not like this. I was so tired of getting up so often I was ready to just turn off the monitor and let her scream, but I guess I am more of a softy than I thought. Plus she was waking Nathan up after 2 hours of straight crying and then he was cranky because he was not sleeping good.
We are now just trying to space her feeds in the middle of the night and are kinda stuck at 1am and 5am.
It really is hard on me to still be getting up 3 plus times a night at 5 months old. Nathan was sleeping through the night by 9 weeks, so this is all uncharted water for us.
I am very dependent on sleep and have noticed a negative difference in myself these past few months.
I know "This too shall pass" but it is quite hard on us right now. We both do not function well without good sleep and it is so easy to take it out on each other at 4am!

I am so thankful that she is a happy baby and smiles all the time! It makes the nights more manageable!
She loves her brother! She loves to watch him and smile at him. Nathan still does not interact with her much on his own.  He will give her a hug if I ask him to but usually just ignores her. . He did laugh at her for the first time the other night. She let out a big burp and he thought it was so funny!
I have caught him squeezing her a few times. He will just walk up to her and squeeze her leg or foot. He gets a time out for that and hopefully it will not escalate to hitting or anything.
I am looking forward to the day when they can play and interact with each other

It is hard to believe it has been 5 months but at the same time it has been a long 5 months.
We are very thankful for her and that she is healthy. I look forward to watching her grow and learn!